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10 Reasons to Enter the Wheel of Time Song Parody Challenge

Why You Should Be the Next Contestant on “Wheel of Time Idol”


This article does not contain spoilers for The Wheel of Time book series or the Amazon Prime TV show.

Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin sitting on a platform in the center of a tavern, one foot on a box, playing a small guitar and singing.

This week’s Maidens’ List isn’t exactly about the Wheel of Time. It’s about you. Yes, you. It’s time for you to expand your comfort zone and dive deeper into the big, beautiful rabbit hole that is the Wheel of Time fandom. It’s time for you to record a Wheel of Time-themed parody song and enter this year's Song Parody Challenge on The Dusty Wheel.


If you missed last year’s Song Parody Challenge, aka “Wheel of Time Idol,” you should correct your bad behavior immediately by watching it right now. To get the full experience, you need to watch both the Wildcard Round and Final Round with—and this is key—Live Chat replay on. Without seeing it for yourself, it’s hard to describe the level of excitement, joy, and camaraderie brought about by celebrating the Wheel of Time through music.


Like most events in the Wheel of Time fandom, the Song Parody Challenge is less about the content and more about the people connected by it. It is a true labor of love by the creators and hosts of the show, the fans who submit their original songs, and the enthusiastic spectators in Chat.


If you’ve been even half-considering writing a parody song for this year’s challenge, take this as your sign that you should do it. In doing so, you will be participating in one of the best nights of entertainment on #WotTube. And with the deadline for submissions extended to March 31, you are running out of excuses.


In case you aren’t yet convinced, here are 10 more reasons to enter the contest:


1. You Get to Be on The Dusty Wheel

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a guest on the Wheel of Time fandom’s most-beloved talk show, now is your chance. If you’re new to the fandom, it’s a great way to introduce yourself. If you're already part of the fandom, it's a great way to get to know you better.


Some of the participants from last year’s contest went on to become guests and panelists on the Dusty Wheel. But you should start with WoT Idol because being on the show via pre-recorded song parody is a lot less daunting than speaking on a panel discussing Robert Jordan’s notes, prepping for a debate, or going head-to-head with the Innkeeper about WoT metaphysics.


Taylor Hatch, Matt Hatch's son, a young man with brown hair and glasses wearing a suit and tie, stands in front of a blue and white neon background that says "Wheel of Time Idol"

Taylor Hatch as Ladfear Seacrest


2. It’s an Opportunity to Be Creative

The Wheel of Time has inspired countless fans to create art of all kinds—visual art in almost any medium, poetry and fan-fic, textile arts like t-shirts, leatherwork, and armor, crafts like cross stitch and coasters—the list goes on and on. Speaking from personal experience, it’s incredibly rewarding to dust off an old, neglected hobby and use it to create something new for the WoT fandom to enjoy.


Close up of a woman's hands playing the ukelele

Samantha A. busting out her uke skills for her Gotye parody


If you’ve been wanting to flex your creative muscles, the Parody Challenge is a good place to start. The songs are already out there, you just have to change the lyrics. The possibilities are endless, especially now that you have both the books and the TV show to use as inspiration (we can't wait to see a parody of "Al'Naito"). You might even have the power within you to establish a brand new head canon for long-time readers. Thanks to last year’s winner, the Prologue to The Eye of the World will never be the same.


Black and white image of a man in a black tank top holding a guitar, singing. The caption reads "I beat him with my shoe"

Reigning Champion Deej Raither


3. It’s a Safe Space to Share Your Music

The Wheel of Time fandom contains some of the most kind and inclusive people on the planet. The three creators of the Parody Challenge, Matt from The Dusty Wheel, Lauren from Unraveling the Pattern, and Jon from WoT Up!, also known as The Village Council, are three of the nicest guys ever, and they lead by example. If you enter the contest, there’s no question your song will be appreciated and supported by both the audience and the hosts.


Zoom gallery screen showing 3 participants: One is a smiling blond man in a black tee, labeled @thedustywheel. The second is a red haired man with a beard and glasses, labeled @UnravelingWoT. The third is a bald man with a red beard, labeled @WoTUp5

And don't worry about those few fans who drank the Dark One’s Kool-Aid and want to ruin everyone else’s fun. The Innkeeper and his team of YouTube mods keep a very close eye on Live Chat to ensure that the comments there are nothing but supportive and encouraging. Disparagement, mockery, and any other hurtful comments are not tolerated. Anyone who makes such comments will feel the Wrath of the Mods.


4. You Don’t Have to Know What You’re Doing

Songs are judged based on the quality of the parody itself, so you don’t have to be an amazing singer or make a fancy video. Last year, one entrant recorded her clever parody, “I’m Not Yet Crazy,” on her phone in her car.


The best parodies play to the strengths of whoever is submitting the song. Anything goes, so use your hidden talents to shine. If you can juggle, layer your song over a video of yourself juggling. If you make really good pizza, film yourself making pizza and sing about Laras cooking in the White Tower.


A blonde woman dressed as Elayne Trakand stands in a forest wearing a long black robe, singing. The caption reads "I do what I want, like hunt black ajah"

Third place winner Alyssa from One Power Ballads


And you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve written lyrics but don’t want to sing, if you’d rather sing but have no ideas, or if you’ve recorded a song but don’t have a video, you can always put out a call out on social media for collaborators. If you contact any of the three guys on the Village Council, they can help boost your call. Lauren has even offered to help with advice on video-making basics. Remember, they’re all super nice?


5. You Could Win Prizes

Last year’s winner received a set of beautiful Wheel of Time book covers from Juniper Books. Second and third prize winners took home Amazon gift cards, as did the contestants voted Best Video and Best Singer. Honorable Mentions also got gift cards, or their choice of Wheel of Time Swag from the Dusty Wheel. The Innkeeper’s usually up for a raffle or two, so even if you don’t win the contest, you could still win a coveted Dusty Mug if you join Chat as a spectator.

A full set of Wheel of Time hardcover books with designer covers that, when put together in order, create a red dragon over a black and white aes sedai symbol, spelling out the Whee of Time in white letters over the design. The bottom of each book has a red label with the name of each book. These are the Juniper book covers.

6. You’ll Be in Good Company

Once you’ve entered the contest, you’ll be added to a playlist on the Dusty Wheel’s YouTube channel, where you can rub shoulders with song parody legends like Alyssa from One Power Ballads, Marcelle, Lezbi Nerdy, Androl the Bard of Time, Jess from the Amyrlin’s Study, and of course, last year’s champion, Deej Raithar. And doesn’t being on The Dusty Wheel make you only a few degrees of separation from the Wheel of Time cast and crew the Innkeeper interviewed on the Blue Carpet?


Marcelle, a Black man with medium length hair and a beard, plays guitar and sings in a black and white video. The caption reads "Black wind coming in the dead of night."

Marcelle busks in the Ways


7. You’ll Make People Feel Things

While most parodies are intentionally humorous, you do not have to be funny to make an impact. Last year, parodies brought the audience through every emotion and back again—surprise, joy, fear, sadness, love, rage towards a vase.


We had entrants who gave us chills, like the amazing Mikah Kilgore with their rendition of “Severed,” and those who made us weep, like Miss Sara James with her heartbreaking “Blame,” which took second place. Two years into the pandemic, we need the arts more than ever to pull us together and bring about a sense of meaning and catharsis. By submitting a song, you will essentially be supporting the emotional health of everyone in the fandom.


Close up of Miss Sara James, wearing a black beanie and glasses, sitting by a building with peeling paint, staring off into the distance. The caption reads "I've memorized each name."

Second place winner Miss Sara James


8. You Never Know Who Might Be Watching

No pressure or anything, but we have it on good authority that cast and crew members from the Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime sometimes visit The Dusty Wheel. Live Chat has seen cameos from some pretty big names, including showrunner Rafe Judkins, show consultant Sara Nakamura, the Tweeter of Chaos, and casting director Kelly Valentine Hendry. Zoë Robins has said her family watches the show, and we have to imagine that Daniel Henney’s parents, the Best Parents Ever, are watching, too.


So, it’s possible your song parody could impress someone associated with the Wheel of Time TV Show. If you want to play a certain role, why not write a song and make a video embodying that role? It’s truly tragic Amazon didn’t see Talk’aran’rhiod's Joe Perry as Thom Merrilin before they hired Alexandre Willaume, but you might still have a chance.


Joe Perry, a white man wearing a white t-shirt and white wig and beard, plays Thom Merrilin in a parod video, holding 2 knives in the air. The caption reads "Knives raised in a V"

Talk'aran'rhiod does Pearl Jam


9. It’ll Get Us Closer To Manfear

More parody entries means more views. More views means more subscribers, and we still need more than 25K subscribers before the Dusty Wheel introduces us to Manfear. As with any long-standing inside joke, it's hard to recall when the agreement was made that the Innkeeper would dress up as the Daughter of the Night once he reaches 50K subscribers, but we probably have Nae’blis to thank.


It doesn’t really matter how it started—all you need to know is our lives will be forever changed when Innkeeper Hatch finally dons a white dress and cosplays as his favorite character. Won’t you sleep much better at night knowing you helped support such an important cause?


Matt Hatch sitting at his desk at the dusty wheel, with Lanfear's head photoshopped onto his body. The caption reads "Manfear" and "original art by Ariel Burgess"

Photoshop by Malkier’s King


10. Live Chat

The Dusty Wheel Live Chat is the best place on the internet to interact with Wheel of Time fans. It’s the show within the show—the digital version of meeting up with friends in the common room of the Inn to discuss WoT and tell jokes. More often than not, you see a comment that someone was having a bad day and felt much better after hanging out in Chat.


By far, the best part of last year's Parody Contest was watching Live Chat scroll by at lightning speed as each parody aired—a virtual waterfall of cheers, LOLs, OMGs, candle emojis, laughter emojis, and people reporting they were dying. If you enter the contest, Chat will not only hype you better than you’ve ever been hyped, they might also help your parody achieve legendary status by riffing off of it with clever puns and creating hashtags out of basically anything. It's their duty.


From the Wheel of Time TV show, a close up of Thom Merrilin's hand tuning his guitar strings.

Thom tunes up his tiny guitar


If you are now fully convinced you should submit a parody song, you can fill out a submission form here. You'll find the full playlist of last year’s parodies here. Happy songwriting, and we'll see you in Live Chat!


Bain & Chiad is a regular contributor to thegreatblight.com and the creator of Maidens’ List, a weekly opinion column about the Wheel of Time book series, TV show, and fandom.


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